How good is endoscopic ultrasound in differentiating various T stages of rectal cancer? Meta-analysis and systematic review

Ann Surg Oncol. 2009 Feb;16(2):254-65. doi: 10.1245/s10434-008-0231-5. Epub 2008 Nov 19.


Published data on accuracy of endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) in differentiating T stages of rectal cancers is varied. Study selection criteria were to select only EUS studies confirmed with results of surgical pathology. Articles were searched in Medline and Pubmed. Pooling was conducted by both fixed and random effects models. Initial search identified 3,630 reference articles, of which 42 studies (N = 5,039) met the inclusion criteria and were included in this analysis. The pooled sensitivity and specificity of EUS to determine T1 stage was 87.8% [95% confidence interval (CI) 85.3-90.0%] and 98.3% (95% CI 97.8-98.7%), respectively. For T2 stage, EUS had a pooled sensitivity and specificity of 80.5% (95% CI 77.9-82.9%) and 95.6% (95% CI 94.9-96.3%), respectively. To stage T3 stage, EUS had a pooled sensitivity and specificity of 96.4% (95% CI 95.4-97.2%) and 90.6% (95% CI 89.5-91.7%), respectively. In determining the T4 stage, EUS had a pooled sensitivity of 95.4% (95% CI 92.4-97.5%) and specificity of 98.3% (95% CI 97.8-98.7%). The p value for chi-squared heterogeneity for all the pooled accuracy estimates was > 0.10. We conclude that, as a result of the demonstrated sensitivity and specificity, EUS should be the investigation of choice to T stage rectal cancers. The sensitivity of EUS is higher for advanced disease than for early disease. EUS should be strongly considered for T staging of rectal cancers.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Endosonography*
  • Gastroscopy
  • Humans
  • Lymphatic Metastasis
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Prognosis
  • ROC Curve
  • Rectal Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Rectal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Rectal Neoplasms / surgery
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Time Factors